Chef Rafael Ubior Serrati, or Rafa, as everybody calls him, is a self-taught cook who began his culinary career in 2008 as an assistant cook in a catering company. As his passion grew stronger, he quickly moved to other restaurants seeking knowledge. Between 2010 and 2012, Rafa was granted the opportunity to work for one of the most iconic banquets restaurants, Restaurant Antonio, as the General Manager of La Terraza de Condado. At the same time, his biggest and most important accomplishment yet happened; he was hired as a cook, opening respected Chef Jose Santaella’s, Santaella, in Santurce. After having these experiences and being confident in his administration and marketing skills gained back in the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus, he decided to challenge himself and in 2013 he gave life to High Kitchen, a catering and food truck company. Always searching for more, in 2017 Rafa moves to Lima, Perú to start the most incredible and humbling experience of his life– staging in the world-renowned restaurant Astrid & Gastón and in El Mercado de Rafael Osterling. After living a while in Perú, life decided it was time for him to come back to Puerto Rico. In the middle of a natural disaster recovery and as a very tenacious person, he decided to pursue the dream of having his first brick and mortar, thus, in 2019 he opened his first restaurant, SUR Barra Nikkei, as a memoir of his passing through Perú.
Rafa believes in evolution, pushing boundaries, making a difference, and bringing smiles through his food. He also acknowledges SUR is the sum of the passion that lives in every team member, particularly two extraordinary cooks and leaders, Rafael Mones and Joesph Dávila; and his wife Angélica Marrero, who is in charge of everything behind the scenes.
For Rafael, the love for cooking began as a young man watching hundreds of cooking shows and practicing them at home as a way of self-learning. After working at several commercial kitchens, Mones joined SUR, where he has further developed his learning and knowledge in the kitchen thanks to whom he mentions as his “great teacher and Chef, Rafa Ubior.” For Mones, the most passionate thing about cooking is the gastronomic and cultural diversity that exists and how we can connect with it through knowledge and experimentation.